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Fallbrook Hospital to re-open this week


Last updated 10/27/2007 at Noon

FALLBROOK- Employees at Fallbrook Hospital announced Saturday, October 27, that they are working with local and state authorities, and air quality and other specialists to prepare for the reopening of the hospital and Fallbrook Skilled Nursing Facility. The hospital is expected to reopen mid- to late-week after passing a combined survey by the Department of Health Services (DHS) and the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD.) Hospital officials will then focus on preparations to reopen the skilled nursing facility.

Staff evacuated the hospital and skilled nursing facility on Monday, October 22, transferring patients and residents to area healthcare facilities outside the immediate threat of wildfires.

“Our immediate concern has always been the safety and security of our patients and residents,” said CEO Larry Payton. “We began planning our reopening once our patient transfers were safely completed and the buildings were secured.”

Preparations for the reopening began in earnest on Friday, once officials gave permission for hospital staff to re-enter the hospital. “We took precautionary measures before the evacuation to help minimize damage. The hospital is in good shape; we’re going above and beyond with reopening efforts, just to be sure,” said Payton.

Hospital staff is working with contracted professional assessment teams, and local businesses.

An environmental assessment team has been monitoring the air quality, and air scrubbers remain in place to re-filter the entire air system in the facility. All areas of the hospital are being thoroughly cleaned including linens and curtains. Foods, supplies and medications are being checked, and replaced as necessary. Equipment is being tested and recalibrated as necessary. The cleanup also includes the buildings’ roofs, parking lots and landscaping.

Once this has been completed, the DHS and OSHPD will be contacted to survey the facility and provide the final approval for the re-opening, according to Payton. The re-opening will also include the Home Health and Hospice services and Cardiac Rehabilitation, services located adjacent to the hospital. The Fallbrook Skilled Nursing Facility is also being re-filtered and cleaned, and will reopen after an inspection by authorities.

“Everyone is anxious for the hospital to reopen”, said Payton. “We hope to complete this process as quickly as possible so we are able to provide needed medical services to our community.”

Payton said Fallbrook Hospital’s employees have been “phenomenal. They’ve been organized, professional and focused on getting our healthcare services up and running again for the community.” Several hospital employees and physicians lost their own homes or experienced damage from the wildfires, he said.

People seeking medical emergency services should dial 911. Updates will be recorded on Fallbrook Hospital’s main phone line at 760-728-1191, and posted on its website at


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